November 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: Sports: Soccer: Crime: San Fransisco Chronicle: Peru RPCV Bruce Greenlee was beaten bloody by a coach at a youth soccer game

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Peace Corps Peru: The Peace Corps in Peru: November 27, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: Sports: Soccer: Crime: San Francisco Chronicle: Peru RPCV Bruce Greenlee reaches out after Soccer attack : November 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: Sports: Soccer: Crime: San Fransisco Chronicle: Peru RPCV Bruce Greenlee was beaten bloody by a coach at a youth soccer game

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Peru RPCV Bruce Greenlee was beaten bloody by a coach at a youth soccer game

Peru RPCV Bruce Greenlee was beaten bloody by a coach at a youth soccer game

Peru RPCV Bruce Greenlee was beaten bloody by a coach at a youth soccer game

Soccer ref says he's pressing charges
- Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The referee who was beaten bloody by a coach at a youth soccer game in Albany said Monday that he is pressing charges against his attacker, who soccer officials say could be suspended and whose team has been disbanded.

Bruce Greenlee, 59, of Richmond said he suffered cuts over his right eye and on his nose after the coach punched and kicked him Saturday after the referee questioned whether all his players qualified for the tournament for 8- and 9-year-old players.

"This guy should never be allowed near youth soccer ever again," said Greenlee, a legal software developer in San Francisco. "If he's a dangerous guy who's got a record of violence, he should be charged with a felony and dealt with by the criminal justice system accordingly."

No arrests have been made, and the investigation is continuing, Albany police Lt. Daniel Adams said Monday. The coach could face a misdemeanor charge of assaulting a referee, which carries a fine of up to $2,000 and a year in jail, authorities said.

The coach also could be suspended from coaching pending a review of the case by the California Youth Soccer Association-North in Pleasanton. A suspension of a year or less could bar him from coaching statewide; a multiyear suspension could lead to a nationwide ban, said Rich Pinnell, executive general manager.

"I can't imagine that there is any response that he could make that would lead to any other decision than a permanent ban," Greenlee said.

The coach could not be reached to discuss the case Monday. His team, the Richmond Cabritos, has been disbanded by Alex Rodriguez, the president of the Richmond United Soccer Club, officials said. Rodriguez did not return a call for comment Monday.

"This is a very disappointing, unfortunate incident," Guy Petraborg, president of the Alameda-Contra Costa Youth Soccer League, said Monday. The incident happened Saturday during a recreational game at Albany's Memorial Park between the Cabritos and the El Cerrito Hurricane, both of which are part of the East Bay soccer league. Coaches for the El Cerrito team suspected that at least one of the Cabritos players was older than 10.

Greenlee said he ended the game at halftime, forfeiting it to the trailing Hurricane team after the Richmond coach was unable to produce a player card -- which includes a picture and a date of birth -- for the boy in question.

The Richmond coach, whose name was not released by soccer officials or police, followed Greenlee to the scoreboard, where the two exchanged words, a witness said. The coach then punched and kicked the referee in the head, the witness said.

Greenlee was taken to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, where checks revealed no broken bones or brain injuries.

Greenlee and Petraborg said the coach has failed to provide proof on two previous occasions that his players were not older than the required age.

Jim Thompson, founder and executive director of the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University, said his group had trained officials in the East Bay league but did not know if the Richmond coach had taken the course.

"Violence on the playing field really has no place," Thompson said. "It sends a really bad message that winning is important, that 'I'm going to attack somebody if I'm in danger of that not happening.' "

Doug Fielding, chairman of the Association of Sports Field Users, a group of Bay Area youth and adult sports providers, said the sanctions are clear-cut.

"Physically assaulting another person is a crime. The person who did this should be put in jail like any other thug. ."

Jerry Nelson, referee coordinator for the Alameda-Contra Costa league, said, "The game is changing. The level of intensity and the competitive aspect of even under-8 and under-10 games is pretty intense."

Fielding agreed, saying, "I am honestly somewhat surprised that for all the testosterone and other energy that is generated at sports events that there aren't more incidents like the one (in Albany)."

But, John Baker, recreational match secretary for the East Bay league, said,

"This is the only time I've ever heard of anything remotely like this in 10 years."

E-mail Henry K. Lee at

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Story Source: San Fransisco Chronicle

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Peru; Sports; Soccer; Crime



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